Articles and Stories (Published)

To Build Thought Leadership, Engage Your People – The Startup –

Employee engagement on social media… who needs it, right? In an era defined by having “influencers” for everything (including SugarBearHair gummies — yes, even candy “vitamins” have influencers) and an abundance of user generated content (UGC) for all to consume, who needs employees to share in the frenzy of likes, comments, shares and follows? Every. Single. Organization. That’s who. Why? Because it helps build thought leadership. To build a stronger case...

Bring This Mindset to Every Project, Leave a Lasting Impression on Clients

When you freelance for a living (that is, a paycheck isn’t guaranteed every two weeks), leaving your client with a positive lasting impression is critical to your success. And when you are responsible for sourcing new work, reputation is everything, worth its weight in gold. How you approach projects and interact with clients matters. It’s part of your brand, and serves as the foundation of your brand equity.

Top Talents Wants meaning: Companies, Lead With Purpose

In the modern workplace, purpose drives talent, impacting both individual and team performance. Without purpose, skilled employees will eventually develop an escape plan. Therefore, if performance is measured to determine overall success, a sense of purpose must be cultivated across the company. How are successful organizations leading their workforce to find such meaning in their professional roles? Well, there are many reasons why people work, and although money, status, and prestige...

Cultivating a Productive Network With a Focus on People

Cultivating a productive network is a crucial step towards experiencing happiness and success in one’s life, both personally and professionally. Every community (digital and physical) presents new introductions and opportunities for connecting with good people — people chosen by you. Interconnectedness. Support. Opportunity. Exposure. Everyone wants these factors, but few know where to find them.

The Art of Cultivating a Responsive Network Using a Project Management Approach

Building on our project management frame of reference, establishing — and adhering to — a process enables you to more effectively cultivate a responsive network. Organization, time management, and clear communication is attainable when you answer the ‘who,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of your networking activities. Who do you want in your network? What value do you offer them? — and them, me? How do I network with the right people? This is the purpose of adopting a process;

Pick Your People, Your Success Depends on it – Live Your Life On Purpose –

Interconnectedness. Support. Opportunity. Exposure. Everyone wants it, but few know where to find it. And crafting the right network is a crucial step towards experiencing personal and professional success. Fortunately, personal and professional networks function to serve the people who maintain their existence — you! Of course, networks require cultivation — and grow best when crafted with care and intention, with a greater-good value proposition.

Subscribing to the Agile Mindset: a Clear Opportunity for UX Designers and Developers to Make Great…

A collaborative relationship using agile methodology among UX designers and developers can ultimately be the biggest factor separating a good final product from one that is great. Of course, this perspective assumes both teams are authentically agile, and embrace the Agile mindset using Agile strategies — yes, Agile is equal parts culture and lifestyle. All or nothing. Traditionally, using the same word four times in one sentence would be considered excessive; however, in the digital environment

Five Artists Designing an Emotional Response to Ocean Plastic

Plastic waste — it’s everywhere! Every ocean. Every beach. Every river. Every community. It’s even in your drinking water. In fact, current research (A global inventory of small floating plastic debris) estimates that every year 5 million to 13 million tons of plastic ends up in the sea — picture that for moment; in reality, it’s far worse than what we can visualize. Even so, the production of single-use plastics continues to increase across the globe as humans find it difficult to forgo a conv

Good Design is Inclusive, and Inclusive Design is Good for Everyone; These TED Talks Prove it

Life creates many problems for humans; some, you may be familiar with. Fortunately, designers create many solutions for life’s problems. Using the principles of Life Design and a human-centered approach, there are many creatives, technologists, and educators in this world who dedicate their time to thinking differently and creating a “better path forward” — usually for the benefit of others. They are designing north. As it stands, there are many talented designers and thinkers in this world all

UX, Positive Change and Togetherness: Murals are Societies Best Tool for Expression

The events of 2017 have positioned 2018 to be a year for recovery, growth, and healing from recent events: political chaos, global humanitarian crises and environmental injustice to name a few. Feeling humanity’s readiness, Designing North Studios is on a mission to find and highlight the small details making a difference in society, starting with the collective effort witnessed from the creation of murals as a form of communication. Cities across America are in desperate need of more public ar

User Experience and Retail Strategy, Together Again

User experience (UX) and and retail are getting together, again. But this time, it’s going to be different. This time, retail strategy and UX are going to get things right; brick-and-mortar and digital will finally accept their marriage as a lifelong union with their sum being greater than their parts, and relationship goals will soon refer to the comfortable, personalized attention that a “store” experience should provide customers. Wait a minute… did we say customers? We meant people! That’s

Blog Writing

Creativity, Purpose, and Passion; an Exploration of Good Work as a Framework for Success

Creativity, Purpose, and Passion; an Exploration of Good Work as a Framework for Success Artistic creation (creativity), mission-driven work (purpose), and excitement for the job(passion); in combination, the three encourage a person to explore ideas others label as unrealistic — too rare or too risky. Each and every one of us yearns to impact the world with the good work we do, or want to do. It’s the human nature of good humans — the answer to our ‘why.’

Rethinking Ocean Plastic With Artists and Designers: 10 Well-Designed Ads

A picture truly is worth a thousand words while trying to comprehend the impact of plastic and other pollution on the marine environment. These artists prove it — they are designing an emotional response to ocean plastic. The stark beauty of their creations is having an impact on people worldwide, captivating onlookers to show interest in a subject that might otherwise be swept under the rug — or left on the streets…

The Art Of Paying It Forward

The Art Of Paying It Forward Without Spending A Dime We’ve all been there before, caught up in the routine-of-things with little thought for what life has to offer outside of “the daily grind.” Rarely, do we take time to think about the others before us who “paid it forward” in one way or another, granting opportunities that would have otherwise never presented themselves. When we pay it forward, we commit and act of selflessness that transcends our connection to other humans on the planet.


Meet Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson, author, mother and “peanut butter smuggler” who with her family, resides full-time in the beautiful state of Oregon. This wasn’t always the case. As an accomplished writer who began her journey with the likes of Nickelodeon, Jen’s creativity flows in her imaginative writing style and memoirs that are wildly entertaining. WTF is a “peanut butter smuggler”? I hear you say. Well, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants mom, Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson...

Finding Your Flow Like a Designer, With Advice From an Executive Creative Director

What is flow? What does flow mean? And how on earth can flow be experienced? (Outside of the Progressive insurance commercials). For the longest time, these questions lingered among the team at Designing North Studios as we navigated the sea of creativity and requirements each project demanded. But that was then. Now, with the guidance of our Executive Director, Lisa Peacock, our team has learned how to position our schedules to find our individual flow. And you can do the same: by following ou

All-Hands Approach to Cybersecurity in the Workplace: IT, Business Leaders and Employees

It was once said that cybersecurity in the workplace wouldn’t exist without IT. Well, that statement is now showing its age and has since evolved into something more inclusive. In reality, there is no cybersecurity without IT, business AND employees working together with shared objectives and a strong culture. Simply put, every organization should approach cybersecurity by integrating the IT department, business units and employees. We’ve said it before and well say it again:

Designing Your Life Using Artistic Creation; a Lesson in Mental Clarity, Empathy and Fun

Have you ever thought about designing your life? Essentially crafting a “tomorrow” that gets you excited, feeling ready for what’s next. If you have, good for you — you’re one step ahead of most. Our tips will keep you moving forward. And if not, we can help you get started. Echoing the words of every parent, “You aren’t getting any younger!” The most common question we encounter is where do I begin? And from our many experiences in the design studio working with others to develop the designin

A Consultant’s Guide to Coexisting with Cybersecurity

Within the modern IT organization, everyone needs to be a cybersecurity professional. Plain and simple. Every technology worker needs to serve as the first line of defense against threats to data, networks, infrastructure, and most importantly, people. Through adopting this mindset and remaining open-minded about your consulting career, you can capitalize on the many opportunities that currently exist in cybersecurity.

Social Engineering, A Driver for Cybersecurity Awareness

When we asked a group of CIOs in the Southern California region what their biggest concern was for the immediate future their answer was clear: cybersecurity and social engineering; the culmination of people, process and technology. Link: Read about the relationship of people, process and technology in IT project management. In 2016 alone, the FBI received nearly 300,000 cyber security fraud complaints categorized as Business Email Compromise (BEC), totaling over 1.4 billion in economic losses:

A Project Manager Perspective on Project Management

Do you remember when project management was viewed as strictly a science? This began to change over the past decade as the ‘art’ of project management increasingly became a topic of discussion. Until this point, the profession was measured through conventional tools, or as Project Management Institute (PMI) refers to them, the “mechanics” of project management. But what was missing from the manuals of the past was an acknowledgement of the art of project management.

Digital Transformation: Key Factors For Business and IT Leaders

With a relentless push for digital transformation among companies of all sizes, business leaders and IT professionals must embrace an environment with constant change. Digital disruption is everywhere, and the competitive landscape has shifted to a modern form where customized business solutions must be delivered at a rapid pace. But in order to be successful, business and IT leaders need to work hand-in-hand to innovate quickly and deliver on all transformation scenarios.

Digital Transformation: Identifying The Level’s Of Maturity

Digital transformation has become an integral business strategy for nearly every legacy corporation in existence. The current disruption from swift moving tech-startups is unprecedented, and larger companies are being forced to transform their asset types in order to remain relevant to end users, not to mention stay competitive within their market. We now live in a digital-first world where technology must transcend every level of an organization...

Growing The Freelance Economy With A Focus On Freelancers

The freelance economy is growing. And with this growth, freelance consultants are finding more opportunities to apply their skills toward the projects that most peak their interests. In fact, this independent workforce is increasing in size at an impressive rate: In 2016 alone, the freelance workforce accounted for 55 million professionals who earned nearly one trillion in income, according to a workforce survey (largest to date) commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union.

Talent Management: A Practitioner's Approach To People, Skills And The Workplace

In a time of frequent disruption with technology impacting every aspect of  business, The Carrera Agency continues to strengthen its practitioner approach to strategic talent management, through leveraging boutique technology and digital design services to some of the largest organizations in the country. Whether a company is gearing up for expansion, or a consultant is ready to take a leap into a new role, The Carrera Agency remains focused on the most important aspect of any team, its people.

Closing The Gap On Digital Transformation

The journey that is digital transformation, is based on the ideas and processes used to optimize an entire business ecosystem around digital technology. It’s the essence of transformation that represents a hyper-connectedness between goals, a purpose, stakeholders, and most importantly the customer. But what triggers a need for a digital transformation? Most often, it’s the social and behavioral changes that are taking place in society; this is a starting point for measuring the need to innovate. (Blog Writing)

30 Photos of Arizona's Sonoran Desert

350 days of sunshine, forests of Saguaro cactus, numerous mountain ranges, and endless desert vistas… these are the reasons why I love Tucson, Arizona — but it wasn’t always this way. For the majority of my life I had no idea what was to be seen, felt, and experienced in the Sonoran Desert just miles from the Mexico border. It took four years of school (Beardown), nearly 15 road trips, my wedding, and far too many 110 degree days to finally understand how peaceful the desert really is. And to be

10 Campaigns for People and the Outdoors in 2018

It’s safe to say there is no shortage of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the outdoor industry. Consumers and enthusiasts continue to express their concerns for the environment and society (reflecting their core values), and companies continue to listen. And respond. The outdoor industry serves as a model for the healthy relationships brands and loyalists should have across all industries, one that provides purpose and reward beyond the physical product — gratification from supporti

Folklore Surf: Founder Interview With Mar Cubillos

Folklore Surf: the questionable accounts of distant lands, perfect waves, and surfing that a person can only dream of. They get bigger and better with each telling until they become your own target of exploration. “It’s this folklore of surf that motivates us to create our own experiences that go beyond the time we spend in the water. This is our belief and it’s only fitting that we have a name that fits us.” Our conversation started with an Instagram story.

Road Tripping Coastal California: Trip Review

For years I pondered a life on the road, especially as a California native; having a coastline that extends well over a thousand miles, offering some of the best scenic driving in all of North America. I’d only experienced two or three quality road trips in my lifetime — all of which dated back to middle school. But even as young adventurer with dad in driver seat, there was something incredibly fulfilling about long-distance car camping and the many miles in-between home and a destination.

Four Days at Glen Oaks Big Sur Travel Review

Big Sur, California, is as much a state of mind as it is a dreamy escape for city dwellers to connect with raw nature, and experience the charm of unspoiled coastline. Although my wife and I were born and raised in Southern California (Laguna Beach area), we had only ventured to Big Sur a couple of times as children. As fate would have it, this trip allowed us a rare opportunity to enjoy this magical destination without interruption from crowds, or people at all for that matter.

Life Design With a Trip To Big Sur

Exploring the concept of “designing your life,” this Designing North Studios original, is a photo enhanced essay about the iconic Big Sur Coast and the magic it creates within all who visit. Known to most Californians, Big Sur is far from a “best kept secret,” yet it continues to dazzle the hearts of those who wander its shores. Please follow along as they share their perspective on “Life Design With a Trip to Big Sur”: Fascinating. Soul-cleansing. Metaphorical. Big Sur is like nowhere else.

Mika Amaro Handmade Bikes Founder Interview

Do you believe in bike-love at first sight? I do! Please, postpone your judgement. At least until you lay eyes on a mika amaro urban bike. The way in which the shiny details come together… these bikes have looks that could kill. In fact, when I first stumbled upon a mika amaro my heart skipped a beat; knowing I would be lusting over someday owning an urban bike with such fine qualities, I had to introduce myself and learn more. Well, after getting to know more about the brand...

LinkedIn Native Content

To Find Your Ideal Job, Master the Search

The number of open jobs in the U.S. hit 7.1 million on the last day of August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7.1 million -- think about that for a minute… That’s a big number when you consider a job post for each. Even so, notice I specifically didn’t make reference to “mastering the job board” in the title. That’s because the sheer number of open jobs on any given day has rendered the traditional job board ineffective for most people.

How my Cat Taught me the Secret to Happiness With her “Never Stop Exploring” Mindset

It all happened in the master bathroom of my small beach condo. I had just finished lunch (vegan quesadillas, if you must know) when I decided to freshen up with a quick face rinse (no, I will not apologize for working from home and adopting the stereotypical lifestyle that comes with the territory). As I finished, turning to my towel for assistance, my 1-year-old cat, Gidget, jumped onto the counter, coming face to face with the trickling stream of lukewarm faucet water.

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The right people, for the right projects. That's Talent Management. 1 in 3 organizations plans to increase IT staff in 2019. IT is expected to outpace the overall economy’s growth through 2026. However... Finding the consulting project you want isn't as easy as you might think. Technology consultants still face tough competition when searching for a new project. We get it. We are here to help you experience success. Hi there, just a quick hello & a selection of current resources that might be

Three factors that influence good work and success; see them in action

It's #NationalGirlScoutDay, which reminds us... how does your cookie wall look? Did you know that a "data for access" cookie wall is not compliant with GDPR? Plus, it results in a crummy user experience. I know, leave it to us to chip-in. When it comes to designing web products or applications that are compliant with privacy laws, it's better to have a tough cookie on your team -- that cares about how well your site generates dough.

Real Super Heroes Make for Happy Clients

As a Triumph owner, I want to customize a bike into a cafe racer for the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. And The Movember Foundation is the largest funder of prostate cancer programs in the world. On September 30 2018, our Head of Technology along with 120,000 other "distinguished gentlefolk in over 650 cities worldwide donned their cravats, tussled their ties, pressed their tweed, and sat astride their classic and vintage styled motorcycles to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and men's mental health." Everyone has a cause. And every day is an opportunity to discover what that is.

A Designing North Curtain Call On 2016:

On my post-Christmas drive home this year I was listening to a PBS interview with New York artist Taylor Mac. He was asked what could possibly be next in his life after having just performed his 24-hour marathon show in Brooklyn called “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" spanning song and scene from 1776 through 2016, a feat which took him 5 years to rehearse. His response resonated with me deeply. And after the myriad of experiences we’ve all had this past year, it might resonate with you.

Press Release: Designing North Studios Says, “Go Humanity” for its Year-Long Initiative

Designing North Studios, a digital design house practicing user-centered design principles, known for their personal, detailed approach to crafting solutions for all kinds of digital projects, has launched a campaign celebrating the mindset that focusing on the small details can and does uplift humanity and may be effective in closing the divide many seem to feel at this moment in time.